Afan Valley Adventure Resort – here we go again!

My intention was to start winding down this blog, spend more time with my wife, grand-children, books, Malbec . . . but things keep cropping up. That said, it’s very unlikely I shall undertake major new investigations. Diolch yn fawr.

In keeping with the promise made above, this is an update to a story I was reporting on a few years back rather than a new investigation. I’m returning to it now because there have been significant developments.

MEMORY LANE

The plan to build a big adventure park in the Afan Valley, behind Port Talbot, complete with a hotel and lodges, offering ski slopes and cycle routes, was the brainchild of self-made con man Gavin Lee Woodhouse.

At one point, maggot-munching Bore Grylls was on board, but his enthusiasm cooled, perhaps when he realised the kind of  ‘businessman’ he’d got himself involved with.

But the ‘Welsh Government’ believed every word from Woodhouse, and in addition to offering him a £500,000 grant for his Caer Rhun hotel near Llanrwst, our tribunes were ready to throw more money at him in the Afan Valley.

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Woodhouse’s empire came crashing down when investors in his properties – some of which were never built – persuaded the media to take an interest. Now, I believe, it’s in the hands of the Serious Fraud Office.

Woodhouse’s umbrella company was Northern Powerhouse Developments Ltd, but the company set up for the Afan Valley extravaganza was the imaginatively named Afan Valley Ltd.

If you click on the ‘Charges’ tab for Afan Valley you’ll see that there are two outstanding charges. One in the name of Clive Mishon, the other 360 Mi Ltd, a company owned by Mishon that is now in liquidation.

I’ve never been entirely sure where or how Mishon fits into the picture, but he was certainly on the ground before Woodhouse. We know that because in May 2013 he was a founding director of short-lived Afan Solar Ltd. Next, perhaps after learning the sun doesn’t shine all the time in Wales, he joined Afan Energy Ltd in April 2014.

Both are long since dissolved. Afan Energy, in which Mishon was a shareholder, was written off with debts of £596,391.

Though still in existence is Marcol Industrial (Afan Energy) LLP.

Let’s remind ourselves there are three land titles making up the area involved. All mentioned in the Administrator’s progress report for Afan Valley Ltd of August 20.

The first, WA519567, was bought by Afan Valley Ltd with a loan from Clive Mishon. CYM471819 was bought in the same manner. CYM60212 is owned by Clive Mishon.

The Administrator’s report suggests that Clive Mishon is an unsecured creditor and will get the money he loaned when the land is sold.

We must assume the land has been sold because of the press release put out last week by Neath Port Talbot Borough Council telling the world that the project was back on track under new management.

Though Mishon is still involved, perhaps because the project can’t proceed without the land he owns. Besides which, Mishon has associates, involved with companies registered in places that enjoy more sunshine than Wales.

NEW FACES, OLD FACES, MASKS AND DISGUISES

Having read the press release you’ll know that those who’ve taken over are said to be the Salamanca Group Ltd and Wildfox Resorts Afan Valley Ltd. Let’s start with Wildfox, where the two directors are Martin James Bellamy and Benjamin Daniel Lloyd.

The initial share issue was for 101 shares. One hundred held by Wildfox Resorts Group Ltd, formed March 16, 2021 (as Kikai Group Holdings Ltd), the other by Clive Mishon.

All 100 shares in Wildfox Resorts Group Ltd are held by Lloyd and significant control is exercised by his company, Caer Capital Ltd. Caer Capital was formed September 15.

Lloyd lives in Wales but uses as an address, 21 Ganton Street, Soho, London W1F 9BN.

Lloyd has been involved with a number of property and buy-to-rent companies since 2016, but it all looks small scale compared to what’s planned for the Afan Valley.

The main vehicle for Lloyd’s ambitions seem to be Project Three Developments Ltd, where he’s in partnership with Gareth Vaughan Morgan and Benjamin Peter Hugh Wells.

This company claims ‘tangible assets’ of some four million pounds, almost certainly property bought with loans from the Development Bank of Wales.

The most recent company is Wells Lloyd Ltd, formed as recently as June this year. Has this new company been cobbled together to cash in on the Afan Valley bonanza?

Strengthening the local connection is another Lloyd company, Kikai RGI Ltd, where the other director is Lewis Ashleigh Peach, who gives a Caerffili address. Most of the shares (70%) are held by Wildfox Resorts Group Ltd, with Peach holding the remainder through his Arete Group Holdings Ltd. Arete was formed March 16, 2021.

But is Lloyd really the man behind the revived Afan Valley project? He’s certainly not mentioned in the press release from Neath Port Talbot council.

Yet ownership of Wildfox Resorts Afan Valley Ltd, the company mentioned in the NPT press release, seems to trace back through Wildfox Resorts Group Ltd and Caer Capital Ltd to Benjamin Daniel Lloyd.

To give you some idea of the size of the project, here’s the plan submitted by Gavin Woodhouse’s Afan Valley Ltd with the planning application.

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Now let’s turn to the Bellamy-Salamanca angle.

We find a host of Salamanca companies, all based at 3 Burlington Gardens in London’s Mayfair. The link between them is Martin James Bellamy.

An interesting name I keep seeing in connection with Salamanca is Lord David Triesman. A very wealthy man.

Another name shared by a number of companies is Rocksteady.

Where Lloyd crops up again as a director of Rocksteady Resorts Group Ltd of 21 Ganton Street, Soho. This company was formed on March 17, 2021, which is appropriate as another of the directors is Irishman Paul Christopher Baker. The third director is Martin James Bellamy. All shares are held by Rocksteady Group Ltd, formed March 16, 2021.

Another Rocksteady company was Rocksteady Resorts Ltd, launched March 11, 2020. Also interesting because the two directors were Baker and Peter Macandless Mundell Moore.

You see Moore in the group photo above. He was the expert brought in by Gavin Woodhouse to give his project credibility. Moore is invariably referred to in media reports as ‘the man who brought Center Parcs to the UK’.

Moore left Rocksteady Resorts March 9, this year, and the company was dissolved July 6.

The three directors at Rocksteady Group Ltd are Bellamy, Baker and Lloyd. The 200 shares are split equally between Set in Stone Holdings Ltd and CLLP Ltd. Both give London addresses.

One of the four CLLP directors is Hossam AlSaady, of Saudi Arabia(?). The others are Lloyd, Bellamy, and Anthony John Rowland. AlSaady runs Above Wealth LLP with Rowland. A company that helps the über rich find a home for their money.

Until 3 April, 2021, Set in Stone was using as its address, The White House, St. Mary’s Well, Bay Road, Swanbridge, Penarth CF64 5UJ. It files as a dormant company, showing just a single £1 share, presumably held by Paul Baker who was the only director until 17 March, 2021, when he was joined by Laura Lynn Baker, an American resident in Wales.

The shares in CLLP Ltd are held by MJB Capital (Lancelot Place) Ltd, 100 B shares; and Lancelot Developments Ltd, 325 A shares. All shares in MJB (Lancelot Place ) Ltd are held by MJB Capital Ltd. Lancelot Developments is controlled by Dr Chander Kanta Sabharwal and Dr Narinder Nath Sabharwal.

At MJB Capital, serving as directors, we find Bellamy and Ms Darina Kogan, a US lawyer now resident in England. Though she is Russian by birth.

This very recent item from the Daily Telegraph tells us that Mrs Bellamy – as we must now call her – is the daughter of Russian oligarch Valery Kogan.

So, I would guess that Martin Bellamy is, as reports tell, the driving force behind the revived Afan Valley project. Lloyd, Baker, et al make up the supporting cast.

Martin Bellamy

If nothing else, Bellamy knows billionaires who could easily finance the Afan Valley Adventure Resort. Among them, his business partner, and his father-in-law.

We are talking serious money here, and individuals with very powerful friends and allies, up to and including Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

SKATING ON THIN ICE

But there are other companies in the shadows. One being Afan Valley Resort Ltd, formed March 19, 2021. The two directors are Baker and Bellamy. The shares are all held by Rocksteady Resorts Group Ltd. The address is 21 Ganton Street, Soho.

There’s also Afan Valley Resort Management Ltd, Incorporated March 23, 2021. The two directors are, again, Baker and Bellamy. The single share is owned by Afan Valley Resort Ltd. Also using the Ganton Street address.

Another company bringing together Bellamy and Lloyd, and another company formed in March of this year, is Kogan Bellamy Lloyd Ltd.

It might be worth having a look at a couple of other companies Baker has been involved in, interesting for the American involvement, though also a bit worrying.

First, there’s E-Ventus Energy Ltd, with its registered address at the White House in Penarth. The other directors in this company were fellow Irishman John Connolly, who was resident in the USA, and US citizen John Spence, also resident in the USA.

The filed documents show an interesting story. The directors folded the company in February 2018, perhaps in an attempt to escape their debts. The creditors appealed to the High Court and the company was restored to the register. You don’t often see this kind of document; it’s worth reading.

The accounts for E-Ventus Energy are long overdue at Companies House. I wonder how much they owe?

Another strange company Baker was involved with was Deeside Hockey Ltd. The address given was 3rd Floor, 5 Temple Square, Temple Street, Liverpool, L2 5RH, but we can be fairly certain that the name referred to Deeside in Flintshire. In fact, there is a Deeside Dragons Ice Hockey Club playing in Queensferry.

Deeside Hockey was Incorporated August 5, 2015, first gazetted November 1, 2016, and finally dissolved January 17, 2017.

There were three directors at the start; Baker – resident in Wales – plus two resident in the USA, Wayne Gary James Scholes, and Trevor Damon Suelze. Baker pulled out September 14, 2015 and was replaced by American Collin Zito.

All the shares in Deeside Hockey Ltd were held by Red Hockey Ltd, since renamed Telford Ice Sports Ltd. And what a story we have here!

Launched in August, 2013 the first director was Scholes. Suelze joined in October. Baker joined in February, 2015. All using the Liverpool address.

Other directors came and went, and shares were issued, but this company was soon in trouble and eventually, after a lengthy process, it was dissolved in June this year.

The liquidator’s reports refer to ‘a number of questionable transactions’, and the company owed creditors almost half a million pounds.

In a Companies House Return of February 2015 we are told that all 1000 shares in (then) Red Hockey Ltd were owned by Really Epic Dog Ltd, operating out of the same Liverpool address with Scholes, Suelze, and Zito, as directors.

This company has creditors to whom it owes £4.9m. Most of this is explained by (allegedly?) transferring money between related companies run by the same directors.

At the same address were also Really Epic Dog Holdings Ltd, Really Epic Dog Publishing Ltd, and Gods knows how many other companies with no visible means of support.

So who are these Americans or US residents with whom Baker is associated? (For Suelze may be Canadian, and Scholes British.)

From someone else who was briefly a director of Red Hockey Ltd, South African resident Servaas Hendrik Theron, we have an address: General Counsel, 5225 Wiley Post Way, Suite 150, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116.

Googling that address turned up Red Touch Media and Wayne Scholes. There’s even a Wikipedia entry. Collin Zito is Chief Operations Officer at Red Touch.

Red Touch Media is now Liverpool Digital Media Ltd. The latest accounts show a company heavily in debt.

TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT

We would appear to have a number of potential sources for the money to re-launch and complete the Afan Valley Adventure Resort.

Martin Bellamy has his business partner Lord Triesman, and his father-in-law Valery Kogan. Either of them could finance this project from their small change. But if one of them was funding this project why do we see such a supporting cast?

And why so many Afan Valley companies?

And let’s not forget the Saudi link provided by Hossam AlSaady. Or if not a link to Saudi Arabia, then to one or more partners of his Above Wealth LLP. One of which is Swiss fund managers Gottex.

Then, we have the intriguing connection, via Liverpool, with the USA and, more specifically, the state of Utah.

What are we to make of Scholes, Suelze, and Zito, and their involvement in Deeside Hockey, the liquidator’s reference to ‘questionable transactions’, the unpaid creditors, and the labyrinth of linked companies all owing each other money?

Given their forays into the leisure business I would be disappointed to learn that these people are in any way involved at Afan Valley.

The connection between them and the resurrected Afan Valley venture is of course the Irishman, Paul Christopher Baker.

Baker is very much a player now at Afan Valley.

We find him at Afan Valley Resort Ltd with Martin Bellamy. The duo are together again at Afan Valley Resort Management Ltd. The duet becomes a threesome when Lloyd joins them at Rocksteady Resorts Group Ltd. The three then do an encore at Rocksteady Group Ltd.

All four companies formed 16 – 23 March, 2021.

And let’s not forget dissolved Rocksteady Resorts Ltd, where we would have found Baker and Peter Moore. Formed in March 2020 and put down a year later, with the name carried on by others.

Though I was struck by one very curious Companies House filing for this company, which I reproduce below.

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Was Paul Baker formerly known as Paul Morris, and did he change his name? Or did whoever registered the company with Companies House not know Baker’s name?

Whatever the answer, the name given on the company’s Certificate of Incorporation is definitely Paul Christopher Morris.

Baker’s association with the Utah Scousers and their Deeside Hockey, plus his role with E-Ventus, the company the High Court restored, might suggest he has a somewhat ‘cavalier’ attitude to business.

But what about the boys from round by ‘ere, like?

Well, Benjamin Lloyd’s Wildfox Resorts Afan Valley Ltd may be the real deal and his route to fame and fortune. Or it may be just a distraction.

His mate, Lewis Peach, is the other director of Kikai RGI Ltd. (Another company formed in March, 2021.) But a few years ago Peach was running a gym in Caerffili.

In the Caerphilly Business Forum Awards for 2017 we read: ‘Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by Coleg y Cymoedd: Lewis Peach – Peak Performance Fitness Solutions.’ (Did you know we have no word in Welsh for the English term entrepreneur?)

But Lewis is a Renaissance Man, cos when he’s not pumping iron we find him at Pure Structured Finance. This company was formed in December 2019, and according to Companies House its address is opposite McDonald’s in Llanishen. Yet the website I just linked to says it operates out of 3 Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3EP.

And if that address sounds familiar then that’s because it’s where we find Martin Bellamy’s Salamanca empire.

Wheels within wheels. So many connections. Pathways and dead-ends. No wonder old Jac is getting quite dizzy – and alcohol plays no part. Honest!

A FEW QUESTIONS WITH WHICH TO CONCLUDE

These questions are addressed to Neath Port Talbot Borough Council and the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ on behalf of those still interested in how Wales is mis-ruled.

  • Do you know who is really behind this revived project, and where the money is coming from?
  • Why do you think this project needs so many companies?
  • How would NPT Council and the ‘Welsh Government’ feel about the project funding coming from Russia or Saudi Arabia?
  • There are persons with questionable business records linked with the project. What are their roles?
  • Will those now behind the project follow the discredited Gavin Woodhouse model of selling shares in the lodges and the hotel rooms?
  • Have those behind the project requested grants from the ‘Welsh Government’, or loans from the Development Bank of Wales?
  • How much public money will be spent on infrastructure – roads, etc – for the Afan Valley Adventure Resort?
  • What measures will NPT Council and the ‘Welsh Government’ put in place to ensure that contracts are placed with local firms and the better jobs allocated to local people?
  • Given that the Afan Valley Adventure Resort will mean tens of thousands more cars travelling from England into Wales, and back, every year, how does this square with the ‘Welsh Government’s ambition for Wales to single-handedly save the planet?
  • Will there be an extra charge for chalets and hotel rooms offering uninterrupted views of the surrounding wind turbines?

Labour politicians in Neath Port Talbot and Corruption Bay may be desperate to claim more ‘investment’, but rest assured, boys and girls, I shall be keeping a jaundiced eye on the Afan Valley Adventure Resort.

Because I’m sure there’ll be more to tell you in the months ahead.

UPDATE 20.10.2021: The Western Mail published an article this morning that was clearly designed to boost the project and make it clear that those now involved had no connection with the misdeeds of Gavin Lee Woodhouse.

It further informed us that the funding is coming from ‘Octopus Real Estate’. But I doubt it. For this is a one-woman company formed in April to buy a property in Wiltshire.

Presumably it refers to one of these pension fund Limited Partnerships, Octopus Commercial Real Estate Debt Fund II and Octopus Commercial Real Estate Debt Fund III.

But which one?

♦ end ♦

 




40 thoughts on “Afan Valley Adventure Resort – here we go again!

  1. Dafis

    DST now pitching up with a new version of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon Project. I appreciate that there are some very heavy pro’s and cons to the entire concept especially the Lagoon which is the cornerstone in more ways than one !

    What stuns me is the amount of concern expressed about the ecological impacts of the Lagoon which is fair enough up to a point, but I’m left bemused by the absence of these same concerns when some multinational rocks up and trots out some fantasy numbers to justify building a new wind farm / energy park causing untold irreversible ecological and environmental damage in the process. Is wind energy or the means of harnessing it protected by some sacred edict ? It can’t be the size of the community payout, which is absolute peanuts, so where does this sanctity come from ?

    1. This is Lagoon is similar to the last one with lots of other bits tagged on. If this Lagoon is similar it will effectively AVERAGE an ouput of just 61 MW for a UK Grid that varies from 25,000 MW up to 60,000 MW, (call it 40,000 MW as a UK estimate average) and the UK produces just over 1% of global emssions. Can someone tell us what fraction is 61 of 40,000 and what is one per cent of that answer. It is only simple arithmetic with big fraction figures!

      1. Dafis

        You’ve answered my question in a round about oblique sort of way. You, and others, are concerned because the threat of environmental/ecological blight posed by this proposed project is on your doorstep in Swansea. Fair enough, as far as that goes.

        Where are you people when similarly questionable, illogical investments are allowed to proceed on large tracts of land within line of sight of some parts of Swansea or the Gower. Look inland and our landscape is already blighted by these costly “energy farms” where all sorts of damage was inflicted to create their foundations, access and services. If these pirates get their way you will soon be able to enjoy unrivalled views of the highest turbines in the UK when they perch on the land around Bryn tucked away neatly between Port Talbot and Maesteg, although no engineer can find any way of tucking these monsters away !

    2. Commonsense100

      Some very basic due diligence reveals almost nothing of substance behind the players in this “proposal”. And the politicians / journalists / commentators lap up a combination of PR hype and wishful thinking and call it news, Nothing here to benefit Swansea or Wales.

        1. Commonsense100

          Surely not William Wray III of West Virginia, who died in 2018? Though there is a West Virginia connection. Over there, thousands of jobs are going to be created by “Welsh Company DST Innovation” from Bridgend. In collaboration with Blue Rock Manufacturing. A West Virginia company that appears to have no presence on the Internet. Its spokesperson however, does run a potato chip company out there. Smoke, mirrors and new clothes worn by an emperor!

            1. Commonsense100

              I’ve become cynical Jac. Nothing would please me more than to learn of a major project coming to my home town that was genuinely innovative and regenerative. That was achievable and capable of delivery by experienced people with a successful track record.,That could lead to the development of a sustainable, local skills base and supply chain ( a bit like your take on wind turbine technology). But the closer you look, the less you find. Well done for finding Blue Rock Manufacturing in W Virginia. But it doesn’t fill you with confidence that they could be major players in a 1.7Bn development. You tweeted that DST claim to have assets of £5M. But a closer look shows that this is mostly intangible assets. Vanity, possibly self-valued and probably worthless. Nothing stands up to the simplest of scrutiny.

  2. I was married to a woman from Cwmafan during the 1990’s. Terrible place. Should be bulldozed, concreted and removed from all mapping.

  3. A bit off topic these days – I was talking to someone about Bog Snorkelling as a Youth Sport the other day which prompted the conversation to Alun Cairns. Someone said he had never been to University and may have gone back to School to complete and resit his GCSE Exams. Is that correct? If he had stayed on the scene, he most certainly would have been involved with this Afan Valley project as Boris’ Welsh Bag Carrier, which is the real topic of this latest Blog expose / discussion. What says you Jac and Readers? What is young Alun doing these days? I hope he is well and doing all his set school homework.

  4. Dafis

    District Judge Stephen Harmes obviously not part of the Plaid-Labour in-crowd that sees McEvoy as some demonic figure to be suppressed and possible exterminated. Never heard of him before so he starts his score sheet one up.

    1. Brychan

      The strange thing about the McEvoy case is that a police officer provided a statement that he had breached the Covid law by distributing leaflets on a particular street. When it transpired that McEvoy had not been at that location at the time, but at another street some few miles distant, another statement by a police officer was made that he breached to Covid law at this other location.

      This was the disparity in the case bought forward by the CPS, the reason why evidence was not provided in a timely fashion to the defence, and the reason why the judge sitting as a magistrate could not possibly find a case to answer.

      There are a number of questions in my mind.

      (a) Which of the two police officers lied in providing evidence?
      (b) Who applied pressure on this or both officers to falsify?
      (c) Why didn’t the CPS notice the disparity before bringing the case?
      (d) Who in South Wales Police instigated this trumping of charges?

      I doubt very much if Jeremy Vaughan the chief constable of South Wales Police can answer those questions, because he has been circumvented by political influence of officers of his lower ranks. He can, however, find out those answers and reprimand the officers involved. He may also discover what external influence has been bought to make officers behave in this fashion, and where this influence originates.

      1. I wonder if those low ranking Police Officers were Free Masons who wrongly brought McEvoy to book. It would not surprise me. There are stories told too frequently to be just malicious gossip of High Ranking Free Masons who are simple Police Constables forcing High Ranking Police Officers who are low Ranking Free Masons to subservient kneeling before them. Does anyone know if Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan is a Freemason and if so – is he a low or high ranking one? Also how about Alun Michael? Some years ago an out dated Membership List of the Members of the Swansea Masonic Lodges was leaked. Whilst out of date, it brought sad surprises and dismay of how many prominent Swansea Jacks were in the sordid web including one former Council Chief Executive of the old Councils here. Has anyone got a list for Cardiff.? Surely McEvoy has the names of the Constables who booked him wrongfully. Also what about both the sleazier Labour AND Plaid Cymru Members in Cardiff and their inner cliques and spouses? One can expect and accept that some Tories may be Free Masons. If anyone has a Cardiff Free Mason Members’ list, then please leak it now.

        1. Brychan

          The events were driven by the Joint Enforcement Team.

          This is a collaboration between the police and the local authorities in any force area. A JET is set up when police are tasked with dealing with community related issues such as travellers on the patch or gangs of low level crime. It is intended to act as a conduit from the police into the machine of local government so that arrests and police resources and not bogged down with matters best dealt with by councils, stuff like alcohol exclusion orders, civil remedies and such like.

          FROM the police TO the council.

          Good practice examples of JET is used in Dyfed-Powys in relation to rural crime and in Gwent in relation to traffic division. It is not supposed to act as a conduit of direction FROM the council TO the police. When JETs were set up in all force areas in Wales relating to Covid it was intended that the police could dispose of any public compliance issue found to local authorities where ‘public information’ and ‘public provision’ would best be used instead of fines, arrests and the courts system (who were on shutdown).

          In South Wales Police the command structure is dysfunctional.

          I am told that the events that led up to action against Neil McEvoy was that a Labour councillor was on the stalk against McEvoy in the Pentrebane and Caerau areas of Cardiff, and made a complaint directly to an officer at the rank of sergeant, who foolishly took on-beat direction from this politician and rather than reporting back to division, stupidly jumped in to caution and MG11 (criminal witness statement) on McEvoy for alleged offences. It is this that led to the failed prosecution and waste of resources.

          When a police officer issues a caution he/she does it upon the authority of the warrant card in his jacket, not acting for JET.

          Now that the criminal process is concluded, and as political interference has been identified within the South Wales Police area, it would be usual for an investigation take place. Unfortunately, policing is not devolved in Wales. So it would be incumbent on the Home Office to instruct another force area to launch a standards investigation into these events. I trust that the chief constable, Jeremy Vaughan, has suspended the silly sergeant from front line duties as a precaution.

          It was a judge sitting as a magistrate who has been critical of these events.
          Heads need roll.

    1. The guy behind it is addressing the points I raised in the blog. As he was allowed to do in the WM article this morning. (See blog update.) It’s worrying how quickly the ‘Welsh’ media jumps for people they know nothing about. Where does the order come from. Their group HQ? Corruption Bay?

      1. Dafis

        Reminds him of the Swiss Alps and California ! Better off spending a few quid at Specsavers or one of the other high street opticians. The area has a rugged beauty but in an entirely different way.

      2. Garry W Gibbs

        All investment is good news. Where it comes from is very, very secondary.
        Did Woodhouse then operate what we call a Ponzi Scheme a la Bernie Madoff?

        1. Have to disagree with you, Garry. In Wales, ‘investment’ too often equates with exploitation. (Just think wind turbines, or tourism.) And I’d draw the line at some sources of investment. For example, I’d like to see the Swans have new owners prepared to invest money, but I wouldn’t want that money to come from a brutal, medieval theocracy where women are regarded as chattels.

          1. David Robins

            Indeed. Political nationalism without economic nationalism is on a hiding to nowhere. Success isn’t to be measured by how much power the Senedd has but by how little is in the hands of folk outside Wales.

            1. The example I keep using is ‘renewables’, specifically, wind turbines.

              The ‘Welsh Government’ has had 22 years to develop a Welsh renewables industry. Had they done their job properly we could now have had Welsh companies employing skilled Welsh staff, generating hundreds of millions of pounds every year for the Welsh economy. We could have been making wind turbines here in Wales. Skilled Welsh workers could have gone to other countries to install those Welsh-made turbines and train the locals.

              Instead, 22 years of Labour control has resulted in Wales being exploited by companies from all over Europe. Turbines made somewhere else and transported to Wales at great expense to the environment. Creating no jobs in Wales, building no skills base. All profits leaving Wales. And we are expected to be so grateful for ‘community funds’ offering us a tiny fraction of what we could have earned if the ‘Welsh Government’ had done its job.

              These community funds are the 21st century equivalent of beads and blankets, given to gullible or trusting natives while their land is exploited and stolen.

              If this had been done by Westminster more people would have seen it for the crass 19th century exploitation it is. And Labour in Wales would have been doing much of the shouting. But let it be done by a ‘Welsh Government’ and more people will accept it, And of course, Labour’s not going to complain.

              This is why I am now totally opposed to devolution. It is being used as a cloak in order to screw Wales in ways we would be far less likely to accept if it came directly from London.

              1. Brychan

                A turning point for Plaid Cymru was a few years ago with the Cefn Croes wind farm and Cynnog Davis. Rather than argue the case for local jobs and a scale of development in keeping with the local community, they threw in the towel to corporate overseas interests. German techies in Ceredigion hotels. It cost Plaid Cymru so dear. When it came to Mynydd-y-Gwair in the south, they were exposed and eradicated. Then with Pen-y-Cymoedd further reduced to help put flooded carpets into skips in exchange for votes. More interested in Gretas than Gwens.

                1. Dafis

                  Did anyone learn any lessons from those episodes ? Not likely. If they learned anything at all it was how to give way and adopt subservient postures when dealing with international business managers. Taking one hostage and leaving his head on a spike is a touch extreme, but there are several negotiating steps between wearing out your kneecaps on the one hand and extreme violence on the other.

                  Our politicians have been too quick to go for the most easy option. Creating a fairer and more accessible means of funding community projects would be a great starting point and opening minds to other alternative technologies would be refreshing.

      1. Wynne

        Wow. Does not look anything like my humble abode !

        Like the 10 questions. Keep monitoring your email inbox Jac. I’m sure 10 factually correct answers will be there shortly. No need to hold your breath !

      2. Brychan

        Yes, not the type of investors who’d be looking to manage a load of tacky shacks in the woods, a zipwire and operate a dodgy timeshare racket. It is possible that their interest in the site is to build something more palatial, given that Margam Castle is not available. Perhaps they also have some Russians in their plans to take over the steel works. You’ll know when Gazprom start sponsoring Afan Lido FC.

        1. Dafis

          Afan Lido or Port Talbot ! The clubs would welcome some big money backing for sure.

          The serious point in all this is that we are now well into the “sell off of assets” stage of the Great Reset ( as it’s called by NWO phobics). In reality this is part of the global shift of public assets into private and corporate coffers at the cheapest possible price ( or next to nothing!). The international kleptocracy is gathering speed in its activity. There was a time when it might have been credited with a touch of discretion or subtlety but now it’s like a horse picking up a pace, a fast trot soon to develop into a gallop. These leisure projects are no different to the windfarms with preference being given to large corporates with odd crumbs allocated to communities as hush money to suppress any rebellious instincts. The Bay regime is playing its part diligently going through faux assessment and approval procedures but the end game is usually the same. Go back to the sale of parcels of development land at knock down prices to the Pie Man and the same themes run through that episode. One big fuckin’ carve up !

          1. Wynne

            Your reference to “Great Reset” is spot on Dafis. Abstract below from my recent letter to Cabinet Office in London. Awaiting reply.

            The Great Reset
            I would be grateful if you could confirm whether UK Government is committed to implementing the “Great Reset” as explained in detail on “World Economic Forum” website at this link: https://www.weforum.org/great-reset/ Is the “reset” to be achieved through implementation of United Nations Agenda 21 [now renamed Agenda 2030]: this being an agenda to transform the world through a plan of action to deliver sustainable development [economic, social and environmental] with all countries acting in collaborative partnerships to implement 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets over a 15 year period ending 2030. The action plan requires governments and public institutions to work closely on implementation with regional and local authorities, sub-regional institutions, international institutions, academia, philanthropic organisations, volunteer groups and others. Full details are available at this link:
            https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/

            I note that the phrase “build back better” was promoted at the recent Conservative Party Conference. An identical phrase is promoted by the “World Economic Forum”. It does suggest that UK Government strategy and policy is being driven by private global corporations thus undermining national soverenty and democracy. It remains unclear how this “reset” agenda is to be progressed in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where various government functions are devolved. I look forward to your observations on this important subject at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

            1. Dafis

              As I have said on numerous occasions – that’s a cracking piece of writing. Not just “da iawn” but “bendigedig” !

  5. Phew! Wow! What an intriguing web Jac. I doubt if those numbskulls in Margam’s Jurrasic Park or the Toothless Tigers in ‘The Bay’ will read this. One things for sure is the only action they will take will be to offer more land permissions and big unquestioned grants of our public money. To add spice to it all at NPT are the proposed monster wind turbines and the ending of the use of blast furnaces in the steelworks.

    1. Dafis

      Back in the good old days there was a visible “skid mark” over the mountain from the steel works fanning out over Maesteg and upper Afan before fading up near the Heads of the Valleys road ! Now the fumes and dust are not so bad ( so they say) but a strong wind could dump some of this “industrial experience” on the campers. Those turbines, if they ever happen, will be a bit further south than I originally envisaged but, and a big but, at those heights they could be intrusive for a few miles.

      Adjacent Communities of Cymmer, Croeserw, and Caerau may welcome all these “well paid” jobs coming into the area although they may not share the same definition of “well paid” that Bay Government and local authority toss pots like to use when imposing seasonal, minimal hours work on people not within their own families.

      1. Dafis you are surely not inferring that nepotism happens in Wales. What a horrid thing to imply. This Jac o’ the North guy is bad enough with his criticisms of our pristine clean lot in “The Bay”. Also all those Special Advisers and Political Consultants in the Bay do a far harder job for small wages compared to the former idle miners and steel and tinplate rollers who earned bulky wage packets for just leaning on their mandrills and tongs in cosy warm conditions. Also this BLOG keeps harping on about people from away buying up all the unwanted homes and land in Wales that would only fall into ruin if they were not used at weekends. The readers of these Postings are quite happy with things as they are, especially those of unusual orientations who have a hard time from all these vile nasty straight people who speak a lot of gobbledeegook called Welash. Get real and think how lucky you are you whingers.

        1. To Jon Bull and Dafis and Jac and Readers – you all seem to misunderstand how the “jobs for the boys system works in Wales” – in olden days the new young Coal Miners and the Steel Tinplate Young Rollers never got jobs on ability – they got jobs by nepotism because of the tradition of their fathers in asking the Mine and Works Managers to “find a place for the boy” at the age of twelve or less with no experience. That is what is called ‘nepotism’. Whereas today, all these Special Advisers SPADS and Political Consultants have had the experience, via their own ability, of getting a four year training in University and a Pass Degree in Politics and History taking an extra year for ‘Re-Sits’ hence four years and even maybe five if they take a gap year somewhere exotic. They get very small wages and carry their lazy inept bosses in High Offices draughting Reports that never make sense to the electorate. After a lifetime of really hard slog the Spads and Consultants eventually may get a seat in Government or in the Third Sector and finally breaking roots to become one of those who are not any part of the nepotistic system. The Welsh public adore the Welsh will put up with anything the SPAD types do in Wales and keep electing their hierarchy into the system. So Jon Bull and Dafis and Jac and Readers stop whining and stop talking nonsense of nepotism existing in Wales. You should know your places being the offspring of Grandparents who were simple servants and miners and furnace operators. Get it? Nepotism only exists in your imagination!

          1. Dafis

            Well G.S you are an irritating little twat, aren’t you. Taking the piss out of the history and current shape/form of nepotism helps no one.

            Young lads who had to go down the pit or into the blast to follow their fathers had very little choice in the matter, but those employments had a sense of community about them. As for today’s Spad’s and embryonic career politicians you may be right about their shabby educational attainments but you are wide of the mark about their earnings and they often progress into their next step up far too soon given how shallow is their experience and personal qualities.

            Nepotism is alive and well. Careerists make sure that they have latched onto seniors who can open doors for them. It may not be fathers or uncles any more although the blood line is still a key feature in some cases. The rest of it is managed by being in the right circle and networking that circle to the max and then opening out into other overlapping circles to enjoy a further expansion of one’s career horizons and rewards.

            1. Dafis

              … and out of the blue, or the D.T in this case comes this quote : “I don’t want to sound like a snooty London office worker,” says Nye Cominetti, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, a think tank. “[But] there are many things about these jobs which make them very difficult to do and unappealing in some ways.”

              This twit was writing about agricultural work, particularly harvesting of vegetable crops. When a “snooty London office worker” writes crap like this then he/she has no right to complain about shortages of vegetables in their local store.

              Pol Pot may have been right after all – a stint working in the fields might do these lazy bastards the world of good !

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